3 Habits of Healthy Eaters with Tameeko Clark– Episode 180

How can we crate healthy eaters, in both our kids and ourselves?

Today’s guest is Tameeko Clark.

Tameeko Clark is a Holistic Nutritionist, Health Coach, Wellness Strategist, & mom of two. She noticed other busy moms looking to break the cycle of on-again-off-again health practices that weren’t sustainable, physically, left them feeling discouraged mentally, or had them swimming in self-guilt and disappointment, energetically.

Tameeko grew up on junk food so she knows the struggle, firsthand. Her tailored & comprehensive coaching program helps others take back control of eating habits and teaches them how to create a personalized culture of wellness to enjoy living healthy on purpose, with purpose, and without the periodic self-guilt and disappointment. Find her at

Big thanks to our sponsor The Organized Home — when our home is more organized we’re just more easily able to make choices for ourselves and help our kids!

In this episode:

The tweaks we can make in our lives to be healthier.

How we can help our kids create their own healthy lifestyle.

Producer: Drew Erickson

What kind of lifestyle do you want to keep living?
[00:00:00.170] – Hilary Erickson

Hey, guys. Welcome back to the Pulling Curls Podcast. Today on episode 180, we are talking about three habits for healthy eating. Let’s untangle it.

[00:00:18.930] – Hilary Erickson

Hi, I’m Hilary Erickson, the curly head behind the Pulling Curls Podcast: pregnancy and parenting untangle. There’s no right answer for every family, but on this show, we hope to give you some ideas to make life simpler at your house. Life tangled just like my hair.

[00:00:41.230] – Hilary Erickson

First off, I get a lot of nutritionists asking me to let them come on this podcast, and I’m always super hesitant to have them on because a lot of their plan centers around, like, diet shakes or things like that, and that’s just not something I can get behind. I really liked today’s guests, her view on eating and things like that. She is a holistic nutritionist, and I love hear what she says. She teaches people how to create a personalized culture of wellness, to enjoy living healthy on purpose, with purpose, and without periodic self guilt and disappointment. And she’s really here to just help you create a lifestyle of healthy eating. I want to introduce today’s guest, Tameeko Clark.

[00:01:20.730] – Hilary Erickson

Do you ever just feel like it’s unfair that some people can have company over at a moment’s notice? Their house is just super easy to clean up, and they can relax on the couch with Netflix? While you feel like you always have things to do around your house that can totally be you, the organized home is here to help you simplify organizing. We’re talking about decluttering zones, organization systems that actually work. We’ve got assignments and challenges. I hope you’ll join us. You can use coupon code UNTANGLED. Look for the organized home link in the show notes.

[00:01:50.370] – Hilary Erickson

Hey, Tameeko. Welcome to the Pulling Curls Podcast.

[00:01:53.100] – Tameeko Clark

Hello. Hello. So happy to be here.

[00:01:55.410] – Hilary Erickson

Oh, let’s talk about eating.

[00:01:58.130] – Tameeko Clark

Yes, let.

[00:01:59.510] – Hilary Erickson

If anyone’s following me on Instagram when we’re recording this, I’m going through my doctor and I are just trying to figure out if there’s anything we can do to help this body shed some pounds. So I’m excited to have Tameeko on. I bet a lot of you are excited to hear what she has to say. So let’s get started. You told me you had three healthy habits.

[00:02:16.900] – Tameeko Clark

Yes, there are three habits that are simple and a full disclaimer. So they’re simple habits, but the first one, it is probably the most important of the three habits, and it’s the one that we most often kind of skip over. And even though it is simple and straightforward, it’s definitely the most challenging, and I think that’s why we often skip over it. And so should I go ahead and dive in?

[00:02:43.170] – Hilary Erickson

Jump in.

[00:02:44.120] – Tameeko Clark

All right. So the very first habit is making sure that we change the narrative that we have for ourselves when it comes to our self worth and our self image and or food choices. Those two things should not have anything to do with each other. We shouldn’t be making a food choice and then telling ourselves, I was sad today because I just ate a whole plate of nachos. There just should not be that correlation. And this is an unpopular stance, but there are food choices that are good and there are food choices that are not as good. They’re not health promoting. And oftentimes we’ll have people say, well, there’s no good food and there’s no bad food because we don’t want people to think badly of themselves. But really what we should be doing is shifting the narrative that we tell ourselves and just not correlating the two things. We shouldn’t correlate our food choices with how we feel about ourselves, for instance. And I’m not condoning this behavior, but there might be a time where you might jaywalk it’s not a good choice. It’s not something that we’re supposed to do, but it’s a choice that we make and we don’t go home and beat ourselves up about it.

[00:03:55.850] – Tameeko Clark

And so we should do the same thing where we shouldn’t do the same thing with our food choices. We should not make it such a big deal. Instead, we want to shift the narrative from being more negative. And I’m bad because I do this. You’re not bad because you ate bad food. The food is bad. It’s not good for you. It’s not good for your body. And instead, we should be thinking about and this is something that you talked about in one of your recent episodes where we should be listening to our instincts. We should be listening to our gut. I ate that food, and I didn’t like the way that it made me feel. Not, I’m bad because I eat that food. And so that’s one of the big shifts that we want to practice making. And because when we’re so in our heads about I have to eat perfectly, I have to do this or oh, I failed, and so now I’m going to spiral and eat all the things because I already messed up, so what’s the point? Just throw it all out. But no, it was a choice. And then you move on and you make a different choice that is maybe a little bit better.

[00:05:03.600] – Tameeko Clark

And sometimes that happens often if we forget to eat because we’re so busy doing a lot of things and it’s like, oh, I ran out of time. And so we get to the point where we’re hungry, and then when we’re hungry, that’s when we’re making more choices that are body craving carbs, because it’s saying, okay, you don’t have any food in there. And so you’re going to spark more cravings that are more energy dense and so the ones that are less than ideal food choices. So simple habit number one is changing the narrative. Instead of focusing on, oh, I was so bad for eating this thing, instead, oh, I don’t like the way that I feel when I eat these things, and what can I do next time? And not focusing on in that moment.

[00:05:52.210] – Hilary Erickson

Yeah, I think we have to remember that different people have different foods that make them sick, because my mom’s sillyac, so wheat totally makes her sick. And I did a full month without wheat to see if I felt any different, felt no different. So for her, wheat is bad. For me, it’s not. So everybody is different. I feel so sick when I eat soda at all, so I just don’t drink soda because I don’t like how it makes me feel. But obviously for a good portion of the population, they don’t mind how they feel after they drink soda. So everybody’s different.

[00:06:21.320] – Tameeko Clark

Yeah, absolutely. And that’s why it’s so important that we’re listening more so to what our body is telling us and less so. I should be eating healthy, or I should be eating those things because, yes, in general, try to eat as many real foods and fruits and vegetables, but when you get down more granularly to the specific foods, you just really have to pay attention to the foods that you’re choosing and how they impact you. And sometimes you have to really listen deep because if it’s been a pattern of behavior for a long time, you might not be noticing the things that your body’s telling you. And so doing what you just talked about and trying things out and seeing and doing it for a long span, like doing it for just a couple of days, you’re probably not going to that’s not enough time. But really doing it for about three weeks or so. And this is an arbitrary number. There’s no specifics behind that, but at least three weeks, give it a good amount of time to see how your body feels taking that out. And sometimes you might find, like, okay, I noticed no difference.

[00:07:28.900] – Tameeko Clark

And then you can just, you know, bring that back in. Or like, okay, I did notice a difference. Or you might notice that I didn’t really miss that food. So there’s not really any point in bringing it back in.

[00:07:38.630] – Hilary Erickson

That’s good to think about. All right, what’s healthy habit number two?

[00:07:41.540] – Tameeko Clark

All right, so healthy habit number two is start with an easy layup. I am not a sports person, so I can’t go deep into this analogy. But starting with an easy layup as opposed to going full court or half court and trying to make a basket from full court or half court, that’s just not a good idea. And you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. And when we get disappointment, then that’s where we get into emotional eating. Or we kind of give up, or we start going down that spiral again of beating ourselves up about making that bad choice. And it’s a choice that we made that doesn’t align with what we want. And so starting with an easy layup. And so you continue a little bit more on that basketball reference. So if you are instead of focusing on being the best basketball player there is, instead just focusing on, okay, I need to be good at dribbling, all right? And I need to be good at making a basket when it’s right next to me. And that’s the same thing we want to do with our food. Oftentimes what I hear people doing is like, okay, I’m going to be healthy.

[00:08:43.180] – Tameeko Clark

And then they’ll go to the store and buy and I’ve done this before, too, where you buy all the produce that is at the store and then you bring it home and you’re doing really good for a couple of days and then it ends up rotting and you don’t use it. And then you feel bad because now you’ve wasted money and you wasted time and you wasted food, and that feels really bad. So if we just start small and start where we are, that makes it a little bit more accessible. So starting where the baskets right next to you, as opposed to all the way on the other side of the court, and creating an environment that makes it easy for you to do that. And having and I know that you do offer help with organizing kitchen spaces, and so that’s a really big thing, making things, as my mother says, at your fingertips. Because if it’s not at your fingertips, the things that you want to be eating more of, then you’re not going to do it. And so you’re going to go for the thing that’s a lot more accessible and easier.

[00:09:45.150] – Tameeko Clark

So if it’s easier to go on your door app and order up some food or that bag of chips is in front of the jar of peanuts, then you’re more likely to grab the bag of chips. And so another thing that I really like is just having a very pretty pantry. It doesn’t have to be like pinterest pretty, but just organized. I love things that are organized. And so when we see something that’s neat and organized and the things that are in those meet and organized things are healthy options, your eye is more likely to go to that, and you’re more likely to reach those things because there’s not a lot of work involved. So starting with an easy layup by starting where you are, starting small and creating an environment that supports the lifestyle that you want to live.

[00:10:31.320] – Hilary Erickson

Yeah, I know. For me, so I’ve been really trying to get in more fruits and vegetables, and obviously a salad is a great way to do that. But I was really overwhelmed by the idea of making a salad every day. I was like, I don’t even know where to start. I don’t want to just throw greens in a bowl and some dressing. That’s not enough for me. So having a protein, like in my fridge, having cut, like chicken that’s cubed or whatever, I’m going to throw my protein and then I just do cucumbers, carrots and tomatoes every time I love them. And changing up my dressing every once in a while because dressing is a really easy one to change up, it’s made a big difference, which sounds really stupid because obviously all of those options were available to me previously. But just having a plan where it’s so easy to do and having them yes, in containers in my fridge, somehow it’s like light years different, which is dumb.

[00:11:15.270] – Tameeko Clark

No, not at all. I mean, that’s so common. And honestly, I love salads, but I actually don’t do salads at home. I have a few restaurants where they make amazing salads. So when I’m creating a salad, I will go to that restaurant and get it there just because they’re really good. And whenever I make salads, they either take me an hour to prep all the ingredients or maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit, like half an hour to prep all of those ingredients or I make it really fast and they don’t really like it as much. But I love your idea of what you practice because it’s something that is accessible to you and it works. And it’s something that obviously it works because you’re doing it and you’re using it. And one quick salad that I’ll even make is just I’ll just do cucumbers. I will cut up some cucumbers and throw those in a bowl with a little bit of salt and vinegar. And I have like a quick little cucumber salad. I used to love chips and my favorite chip was salt and vinegar chips, but then I started eating more. And not that it’s a replacement because they are two different things, but it’s similar and yeah, it’s just a quick and easy thing.

[00:12:28.100] – Tameeko Clark

And having those go to you’re, right? Absolutely. They really come in clutch.

[00:12:33.300] – Hilary Erickson

Yeah, I love that. And the other thing I’ve done is started buying smaller cucumbers because I would feel guilty like, oh, I’m opening this cucumber. Is it going to be good tomorrow? Or whenever I go back. And now that I have the smaller ones, I just chop one up and I feel great about it. It’s so dumb when these little things that you like, stupid ideas that have been stopping you because honestly, the little ones are probably more expensive.

[00:12:54.550] – Tameeko Clark

Absolutely. But you know what? In the long run, that investment in those smaller cucumbers, I love those too. I’ll get like a bag of I think they call them like cocktail cucumbers or something like that, I forget. But that’s an investment in your health because if that’s what it takes for you to make that consistent and not feel bad about wasting like the other half of the cucumber, then do it. Because in the long run, if that helps you create the consistent habits and your health that you need so that you have longevity and all of that, then it’s totally worth it, right?

[00:13:29.120] – Hilary Erickson

Yeah. Because I’m constantly saying, is this something I could do the rest of my life? Yeah, this isn’t a diet. This is just like, how am I going to make this the easiest thing possible? Because constantly I’ll be like, well, chips are just right there versus a salad. I have to pull out ten things for my fridge. But if you can make that salad just like 10% easier, it still seems a little more doable. I don’t know, that’s just me.

[00:13:49.280] – Tameeko Clark

No, you’re totally spot on and I’m right there with you. And that actually is a great segue into the third habit.

[00:13:55.990] – Hilary Erickson


[00:13:56.510] – Tameeko Clark

Which is creating an intentional strategy and focusing less on individual tactics that you’re seeing in your social media feed and focusing more on just your overall strategy and really starting with that first and taking a moment even just today and thinking about, okay, what are my intentions with my health and not having it be fully on. Okay, I want to lose weight. Because that is something that if that’s important to you and that’s your goal. Yes, that is something from a tactic perspective that you do need to keep in mind so that you know what things you need to do. But we want to start with the overall strategy. What kind of lifestyle, like you just said, what kind of lifestyle do you want to be living that feels sustainable and feels like something that you aspire to do because it feels aligned with who you are. And we really have to move away from googling what is a healthy lifestyle and trying to fit yourself inside that box. Because like we said earlier, everybody is different. We’re all different. There are some general rules of thumb that apply to most people, but at the end of the day, the thing that messes us up is when we’re too focused on how this food choice is impacting how I look.

[00:15:18.300] – Tameeko Clark

And really what that’s about is how I’m perceived by other people. And not focusing on, okay, well, I’m supposed to be eating salads and smoothies every single day and just only focusing on what is my body telling me, what are my goals for the life that I want to live, what does healthy living really look like for me and not you? Regurgitating what you think a healthy lifestyle is supposed to look like. And so looking at the way that you live today and what are the little tweaks to how you live today, what your preferences are, what your habits and patterns of behavior are, and how can you tweak those just a little bit to start moving towards the overall lifestyle that you want to live later on down the line and giving yourself that grace that you’re not going to get there right out the gate. And so you need to take baby steps that are in alignment with where you ultimately want to be and having faceback you’re going to get there and you’re just going to need to take little steps to get there. And starting with an intentional strategy first, where you’re looking at the big picture and then packing up your toolbox with different tactics that fit your lifestyle today, and so that allow you to pivot.

[00:16:33.300] – Tameeko Clark

And so not just focusing on one individual tactic, but just having a lot of things in your arsenal that you can pull on. We’re running late today. Okay, what are my quick go to that I can grab in this situation? Or if there is a time where you do have to order in, what are the three places that are in my neighborhood that I already know have healthy options that my family love? And so just having a good culmination of different tactics that fit your individual life and using those to come all upon in your day to day.

[00:17:06.670] – Hilary Erickson

Yeah, I love the big picture because it’s really important to me that my daughter can still see that I’m not like, no, we don’t eat any ice cream. Yeah, I can have a scoop of ice cream every now and then, and that’s fine because I expect her to have a scoop of ice cream every now and then also. So I think especially it’s hard for moms because we also have tiny eyes staring at us, like, how is a healthy lifestyle created? Because our parents initially create that for us. So I love these ideas. Zooming out for the big picture, so important for all of us. And starting where you are because everyone’s like, oh, I should have started my diet last week. No, you should have saved for retirement last week. It all starts now. So great ideas. Tamika, where’s the best place people can find you at?

[00:17:48.700] – Tameeko Clark

Okay, the best place that you can find me is on Instagram. You can find me at basic on purpose. And yeah, that’ll be a great place if I needed to keep it simple.

[00:18:00.550] – Hilary Erickson

Yeah. So I will also tag Tameeko in our Instagram post for today. Come tell us the food that makes you feel bad about yourself. I think that would be a fun one over on Instagram. And thanks for coming on to Miko. Hopefully we can all make some changes.

[00:18:14.130] – Tameeko Clark

I love it. Thank you. Thank you for having me.

[00:18:16.960] – Hilary Erickson

I hope you guys enjoyed that episode. I don’t know if you guys know this, but healthy eating is something I really struggle with. I feel like I’m a pretty healthy eater, but the weight isn’t changing, so it’s always something that I’m working on. You’ll find me, update you on Instagram pretty frequently on that. So thanks, Tameeko, for coming on.

[00:18:32.480] – Hilary Erickson

Stay tuned for our upcoming episodes next week is going to be about five things to expect when you go home with your new baby. And the week after that, we’re talking about making purchasing decisions for things for your kids, so stay tuned for those.

[00:18:44.470] – Hilary Erickson

Thanks so much. Much for joining us on today’s episode. The Pulling Curls Podcast grows when you share us on social media or leave a review. If you do, please tag us so that we can share and send you a virtual hug, which, frankly, is my favorite kind of hugging. Until next time, we hope you have a tangle free day.

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